Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta (right) speaks to reporters aboard his aircraft on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, on the way to official visits to Japan, China and New Zealand. (AP Photo/Larry Downing, Pool)

Photo by: LARRY DOWNING

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta (right) speaks to reporters aboard his aircraft on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, on the way to official visits to Japan, China and New Zealand. (AP Photo/Larry Downing, Pool)